Artistes demand MCC to slash Town Hall rent

If all goes well, Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) may slash advance booking rates and rent for Town Hall auditorium.

This is the outcome of an interactive meeting between Mayor Kavita Sanil and artistes at the MCC office on Saturday.

The mayor told the artistes that she will raise the issue in the next MCC council meeting, besides forming a committee of artistes to look into the various demands of the fraternity.

In the meeting that lasted a hour, the artistes highlighted travails faced by the community due to exorbitant rate, revision of period of advance booking from six months to two months,  technical snags in sound and light system and restrictions on using existing generator at the town hall, followed by seating arrangements that is not in sync with the audience requirements.

Due to the unfavourable conditions, the home grown artistes are looking for greener pastures elsewhere, thus leaving the art lovers in the lurch. Earlier, the Town Hall was the only hub for pastime, during monsoon, for its perfect location in the heart of the city that can woo crowds, they said in chorus.

Different slabs

Magician Kudroli Ganesh succinctly explained that rent is charged under two different slabs for free shows and ticket shows. In the case of latter, the organisers have to pay Rs 53,000 as advance amount that may still prove a burden, with just two months left for organisers to raise donations and sell tickets at least to match the expenditure.

Most importantly, although 71 KV capacity generator is installed at the Town Hall, the organisers are forced to arrange for generators on their own, if they make extra lighting arrangements. The generator at the Town Hall is permitted to be used only for the lights installed in and outside the auditorium.

He also underlined that the problem has cropped up only after the auditorium was renovated, ignoring the needs of the artistes.

Yakshagana artiste Ashok Shetty said, unlike in Dakshina Kannada, the auditoriums at other districts are available at affordable rates with Rs 2,000 advance amount and Rs 7,000 charged for rent.

Another artiste Chandrashekar Shetty complained about the green room that turns into a hot cauldron with lack of adequate ventilation and also air-conditioner. It will be better to shift the attached toilet at the green room outside to make adequate space for the artistes to don make-up and dresses for the shows, he suggested.

Nityananda Rao, who represented vocal artistes, said, unlike performing arts where the audience will take time to go out during intervals, the art connoisseurs at concerts stay glued to their seats till the end of the performance. However, the existing push back seats are not comfortable and the rows are devoid of leg room, he said.

Theatre artiste Thamma Lakshmana said the existing white screen should be replaced with dark coloured screens. Another artiste emphasised on installation of adequate focus lights as the existing spot lights made of LED bulbs lack lux against the requirements. Moreover, the focus lights should be detachable and moved as and when the artistes perform along with retinue of artistes, he noted.

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